by Spencer Bollettieri, freelance writer for Theme Park Magazine
When people hear the phrase “winter wonderland,” it calls to mind campy carnivals or perhaps a store display along a city street. But in New York City, a new winter wonderland is enchanting guests based on a new Disney+ series of a classic Tim Allen movie.
The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland
The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland is a scenic experience based on Disney+’s The Santa Clauses. Located at Pier 15’s Watermark in Manhattan’s Seaport District, New York acts as a nostalgia-fueled backdrop for the North Pole, allowing for holiday cheer to flow and for people to experience Disney’s The Santa Clause series in a new way.
Guests begin by being greeted by one of Santa’s busy elves, who ushers them to a giant candy button. “In Case of Santa-Mergency,” diners are encouraged to push the giant peppermint before entering. Within Santa’s headquarters, visitors walk down a cozy hallway made to resemble his holiday home. Stuffed to the stockings with knick-knacks and colorful details, it’s a first impression that couldn’t be more Christmasy unless Clark Griswold decorated it himself. However, what awaits Santa’s guests on the other side of his hallway is what serves as the main attraction and where the experience begins.
With the sound of Christmas classics echoing over the speakers and bright lights decorating Pier 15, the North Pole comes alive with a breathtaking view. When they walk in, guests will recognize classic sets brought to life from The Santa Clauses. People can snap selfies in Santa’s Workshop surrounded by colorful toys and tools, sip hot chocolate by a giant snow globe, or rendezvous in a comfy recreation of The Santa Clauses’ iconic fireplace. However, the scenery is all accented by an awe-inspiring view of the Brooklyn Bridge and New York’s skyline.
Although the many glasshouses provide warmth and are available for reservations, most will spend their time outside, lost in Pier 15’s beauty, bundled up and snapping pictures. It’s unlike other Disney attractions in that it’s less of a story-driven experience and more of a dine-in spot that incorporates the beauty of the surrounding waterfront with the beloved iconography of The Santa Clause series.
Winter Wonderland Food and Drinks
In addition to the stunning surroundings, another aspect The Santa Clauses Winter Wonderland prides itself on is its menu. Offering inventive treats such as mac ‘n cheese served in an ice cream cone, a truffle ravioli, and their “Blizzard Burger,” Watermark has something for everyone whether they’ve come for a winter-time dinner or an afternoon brunch. Santa’s servings are just as varied for those with a sweet tooth, whether guests want to fill up at Mrs. Claus’ Candy Bar, dine on hot chocolate pancakes served with marshmallow fluff, or roast s’mores for dessert. Regardless, there’s an air of holiday flair and creativity on Watermark’s menu that can rival that of Santa’s elves.
As for drinks, The Gingerbread Bar serves up holiday-themed cocktails such as the Pump of Spice (a pumpkin spice margarita), Stuffed Stocking (a drink smoked at the table), and The Orimentini (a specialty concoction served in a disco ball). There are also non-alcoholic options such as hot chocolate or warm apple cider. Already guests note that the yuletide drinks seem best consumed surrounded by friends and in the inviting atmosphere of Santa’s recreated living room or with someone special gazing out at the lit-up NYC skyline searching for Santa’s sleigh.
Although Disney is known for their larger-than-life attractions and experiences globally, those entering the North Pole should expect something less traditional. The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland promotes a festive outdoor dining experience that channels the intimacy and atmosphere of a Metropolitian holiday party but with the warmth and charm that only Disney can bring. For holiday cheer-seekers looking to experience a true New York Christmas or celebrate the almost three-decade legacy of The Santa Clause, they can book their experience on the Bucket Listers website or through their app.
Bucket Listers and Disney+ Collaboration
Created through a collaboration between Disney+ and Bucket Listers, the latter is known for its unique experiences across a dozen major US cities. Featuring other events like The Golden Girls Kitchen, The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland is among Bucket Listers exclusive offerings on their website and app that hopes to “bring the North Pole to life in the heart of the city.” Additionally, with Disney+’s cooperation, The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland sets the stage, giving guests a preview of the long-awaited sequel series through colorful props, sets, and decorations.
The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland will be in New York City until January 15, 2023.
Explore More (Videos)
News report on the opening of The Santa Clauses’ Winter Wonderland
The Santa Clauses Disney+ Series Trailer
Explore More (Resources)
About Spencer Bollettieri: As a biologist, journalist, and writer, Spencer Bollettieri has written for sites such as Screen Rant. Although mostly based out of New York, he’s traveled the world in pursuit of new stories.